NEW YORK — Mass retailers expect big things from shoppers who procrastinate.
Drugstores and discount stores traditionally generate most of their holiday sales in the final days as consumers scramble to complete their lists, said Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreen Co.
Both Target and Wal-Mart promoted a price-matching strategy that included online merchants. Rite Aid came out swinging early with fragrance deals including buy one, get another 50 percent off for its Wellness+ loyalty card members. At Duane Reade’s upscale Look Boutiques, the chain featured eye-catching values — including a $24.99 Rihanna Rebelle fragrance gift set — within the pages of its glossy Look Book. Duane Reade benefited from an appearance by Olympian Dara Torres, who is a brand ambassador for AmLactin, at a bustling store not far from Rockefeller Center, with crowds forming as samples spilled into the beauty department.
Walgreens broadened its approach to gift giving, as did several of its peers. Walgreens’ 12 Days of Beauty effort, which promotes a different products during the 12 days leading up to Christmas, included Crest WhiteStrips, Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Nail Color and the Mariah Carey Lollipop fragrance.
Target stationed Boots advisers in its beauty departments to welcome shoppers. “This holiday season, our bath and body, fragrance, value cosmetics and nail-color offerings are most popular,” said a Target Corp. spokesman. “Exclusive fragrance sets from Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, as well as cosmetics from E.l.f., are also performing very well. Nail color continues to drive sales this season.”
In fact, buyers said nail is the main sales driver this season. Kiss Product’s Grace Tallon, senior vice president of market, said the nail-art category rises almost 90 percent in sales during the holiday season versus the prior month, driven by products such as Kiss Nail Dress, Kiss Nail Sticker and Kiss Nail Artist Paint Kits. “These items are perfect holiday gifts and stocking stuffers,” she said.
This year, the category will get a boost from gel nail kits. “Gel nail kits are absolutely selling for Christmas,” said Barry Shields, the marketing manager for Innovative Beauty Group, which produces Red Carpet Manicure.
Beyond nails, retailers said both fragrance sets and color blockbusters are more popular than the last three years when shoppers pinched pennies opting for single sizes. “Gift sets have often provided a somewhat stress-free purchase for the shopper to get in and out of the madness that surrounds shopping during the holiday season,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at The NPD Group. “And it’s not just fragrance anymore. Sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care, too.”
E.l.f. Cosmetics introduced several color kits this year. “Sales across the board are very strong, up high double digits over last year,” said Joey Shamah, chief executive officer of E.l.f. “We’ve been really successful this year introducing higher price point and value sets with a high-end packaging feel and the customer has really responded.”
Price was a bit less of an issue in the personal care aisle, too. Yes To Inc. cofounder Ido Leffler said this holiday season has marked a return to giving, regardless of the price point. “In past years we’ve seen people holding back a little and this year people just wanted to give, especially with all that is going on in world,” he said, adding that the recently launched Yes To hair-care line has also been a strong performer leading up to the holidays. “The more you can show to people the better and that doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive thing. Here we do stocking stuffers in the months leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas, and we are definitely seeing that this will be one of our most record-breaking months.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)